By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — From the outside, it would appear the Troy football team’s schedule will remain largely unchanged from last season.
A closer look, however, reveals the Trojans’ schedule will change dramatically.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association revealed its division alignments Tuesday for the 2015 football season, and while Troy will remain in Division II — where it has been the past three seasons after more than a century playing in Ohio’s largest divisions — more than half the teams on Troy’s schedule will be changing divisions under the OHSAA’s realignment.
Ohio High School Athletic Association football divisions are based on school enrollment data provided by the Ohio Department of Education of males in grades 9, 10 and 11 as of October 2014. The breakdown of divisions is: Division I (male enrollment of 627 or more), Division II (423-626), Division III (271-422), Division IV (201-270), Division V (150-200), Division VI (107-149), Division VII (106 or less).
Six of the teams on Troy’s schedule will be changing divisions — five will be moving from a larger division to a smaller division, while one will be moving up a division. The most notable division change on Troy’s schedule is rival Piqua, which will be moving from Division II to Division III.
It will be the first change for Piqua since 1993, when it moved from Division I to Division II. It will also again close the window on the two rivals potentially meeting in the postseason — at least for the time being — something that has happened only once since 1897 when the two schools started playing one another.
Following a 1992 Division I regional final game between the two teams, Piqua moved to Division II, while Troy remained in Division I. The two teams would remain in different divisions until 2012, when Troy became a Division II school. Neither team made the playoffs in the three-year span both teams were playing in Division II simultaneously.
Troy will be the lone Division II school competing in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division this season. Greenville and Trotwood-Madison both competed in Division III last season; they’ll be joined this year by Piqua, Sidney and Butler, all of whom move from Division II to Division III under the OHSAA realignment.
Two of Troy’s non-GWOC North opponents also will be moving down in divisions. Cincinnati Northwest was a Division II school last season, but will compete in Division III this year. Miamisburg was a Division I school last year, but will be a Division II school in 2015.
Only one of the schools Troy will face this season — Chaminade Julienne — will be moving up in divisions. The Eagles, Troy’s opponent in the season opener, will compete in Division IV this year after playing in Division V last season.
Two more non-North schools on Troy’s schedule will remain in the same divisions in which they played last season. Wayne will remain a Division I school, while Xenia will again be a Division II school.
Piqua was the lone Miami County school to see a division change. Tippecanoe will continue to play in Division III, Milton-Union will remain in Division V, Miami East and Bethel both will play Division VI again and Troy Christian, Covington and Lehman all will play in Division VII, as they did last season.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong